Super Early Bird Ends
October 31, 2023
May 21, 2024
June 20, 2024
The Harvard Business Review has defined a disruptive company, product, or service entering the market. “Entrants that prove disruptive begin by successfully targeting overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality—frequently at a lower price.” There are two types of footholds: low-end and new-market. Low-end footholds are created because existing companies strive to provide their most profitable and demanding customers with ever-improving products and services. They forget about or pay less attention to other consumers. With “new-market footholds, disrupters create a market where none existed. But, they find a way to turn nonconsumers into consumers.”
The wine industry needs some disruption. As the just-released 2023 Wine Industry Report from Silicon Valley Bank sums up as a key takeaway, “younger buyers are increasingly less engaged with the wine category.” And that’s putting a rosy gloss on it. Inside, the Report’s author says:
I had hoped to see trended information showing that our industry’s engagement with the younger consumer was at least improving over time, even if it was disappointing. But this information says the opposite. This large dataset shows that consumers younger than 60 are less interested in buying wine today than they were in 2007. This is telling us that whatever we’ve collectively tried to do to engage with the younger consumer in the last decade hasn’t been good enough. In fact, if we are doing something, the results are getting worse, so you could argue that we should immediately stop doing it.
Other takeaways include that the wine industry must take “significant strides to attract the young consumer’s interest” and “before we even get to the on-ramp discussion, consumers have to be curious about wine. That is a function of advertising and promotion, something we as an industry must improve upon.”
Millennials and GenZ are digital natives. Wine hardly exists in the digital world. A disruptive, start-up company based in the UK had decided that this must change, particularly to appeal to the youth generations: the Millennials and Generation Z (GenZ). (The Pew Research Center defines: “Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation” or GenZ). This company is called Second Winery and it is using metaverse technology combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve a problem, turning wine nonconsumers into wine consumers and at the same time educating them and others, at an affordable cost.
To put it simply: Second Winery provides detailed 3D replicas of specific wineries and vineyards that one can visit, move around, and interact with: actually taking part in winegrowing. While AI may sound like something from a science fiction movie, it really just means smart interaction and communication based on wine knowledge fed into a computer. Second Winery will have someone, like the winemaker, guide users through the winery and the winemaking process, answering questions and providing guidance regarding challenging winemaking tasks. This is a great way to learn about wine.
Why is this kind of interactive experience needed? In last year’s report, the Silicon Valley Bank concluded that the wine industry has exhibited a “failure to market to young consumers” and “wine sales are overly dependent on older age groups,” with the potential to plummet by 20% over the next decade because of disinterest among youth. This affects everyone connected to the wine industry, including restaurateurs and sommeliers. This is caused by a lack of knowledge and engagement. Second Winery bridges this gap by providing a captivating and accessible way to learn about wine while also providing memorable experiences of member wineries, their terroir, and a sense of place. This occurs in a fun setting, it’s social, and allows tasting the wine. Second Winery focuses on enjoying, learning, and trying the best wines worldwide, rather than the traditional classroom setting, with impressive results.
Founded in 2022, Second Winery has just revealed its innovative approach to accessing the world of wine. Unlike traditional wine schools, Second Winery uses proprietary AI and 3D technology to provide immersive, intuitive, and experience-based learning while promoting detailed knowledge about specific wine labels and their appellations. With this platform, subscribers explore the best wineries worldwide inside an astoundingly detailed 3D environment, using winegrowing challenges (like a game), AI, and social interaction to learn through activities such as harvesting, grape selection, and crushing, fermentation, and blending the final superb wine: red, white, rose, and sparkling. Such opportunities are rare and costly in the real world, entailing environmental impacts.
The younger generation, including budding sommeliers, have to learn about wine. A common problem is that traditional wine schools can be expensive, intimidating, and, frankly, boring; they fail to connect with what youth seek, not offering the experiences they value. Wine education campaigns launched by wineries, appellations, or trade organizations offer only conventional web pages and courses that the younger digital natives find uninspiring. Again, as the Report has concluded for the past two years, there has been no recognition of the important changes required by dynamic demographic shifts in the wine market.
Second Winery offers the chance to visit real wine estates and taste their wines in an approachable, fun, social, and eco-friendly way. The platform is accessible by computer or in virtual reality, building equity in wine learning. This solves the problem that many may feel curious about wine, but consider it elitist, too complicated, remote, and even pedantic. Second Winery offers a disruptive solution to this problem that not only grounds wine knowledge in virtual experiences but also makes it easily obtainable and entertaining, informed by the power of AI. And at the end, after having completed all the stages of learning about wine through the platform, users will receive a meaningful wine qualification backed by top wineries, wine industry companies, and appellations or trade organizations.
Second Winery also provides unprecedented branding opportunities for participating wineries. They even hold out the possibility of delivering wines to subscribers for tasting at home. Just as the 2023 Wine Industry Report is released, Second Winery has commenced the process of selecting the best wineries worldwide to participate in its platform. It will select a total of 100 wineries to participate from different global wine regions. The selection criteria will be based on the quality of the wines as well as the architectural design and landscape of the winery and vineyards, through the seasons, reproducing them in 3D, and allowing users to visit these facilities while learning about wine.
Image: The 3D winery is Chateau Montrose
“We are excited to bring the best wineries worldwide to our users and provide them with an unparalleled wine education experience,” says Second Winery’s CEO. “Our platform makes the world of wine more accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their level of wine knowledge. We look forward to seeing the impact our platform will have on the future of wine education and the wine industry as a whole.”
In sum, Second Winery has the potential to deliver more-suitable functionality in wine engagement and education, at a lower price and to turn nonconsumers into consumers, knowledgeable ones at that.